Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Windows 7 may come with a Steep Price

So far most of my predictions about Windows 7 have been right on the money.  Microsoft has scaled back the number of versions. Computer manufactures confirm they’ll have Windows7 installed on machines in time for Christmas. Unfortunately, the one thing I may have been wrong about was the price. I expected the price of Windows to come down but I was too optimistic.  The best thing going for any “I’m a PC” campaign is price yet Microsoft seems to think if Apple can gouge customers they can too.

Windows 7 Logo

Did anyone tell Microsoft we’re in an economic crisis?  Brisk PC sales could really help the economy but if the cost of the OS is over 25% of the total PC price we’re in trouble. Worse yet, the high cost of Windows could impact the single most requested add-on to any purchase which is Microsoft Office.

So far Microsoft hasn’t officially announced pricing.  You may have seen reports of leaks by folks at Dell Computer but they’re not the only one I’ve talked to who is concerned. Sources outside the U.S. have also reported that Windows 7 will require a larger investment than Vista. Reports say prices may range from $199 to $319 USD.   OEM’s I’ve talked to say Windows 7 Home Premium will be their default package.

There is some good news. Most new machines won’t require any upgrades to run Windows 7.  The Windows 7 compatibility program is likely to be more successful.  That means there will be less expense upgrading to new hardware and software.

Microsoft has adjusted their original product line description and removed the 3 application limit for the Windows 7 Starter edition

Windows 7 Starter (Review by Ed Bott)

  • Broad app and device compatibility with up to 3 concurrent applications
  • Safe, reliable, and supported
  • Ability to join a Home Group
  • Improved taskbar and JumpLists

Windows 7 Home Basic (may not be available in U.S.)

  • Live Thumbnail Previews & enhanced visual experience
  • Advanced networking support (ad-hoc wireless networks and internet connection sharing)
  • Mobility Center

Windows 7 Home Premium (Chris Pirillo: Microsoft crippling Windows 7 Home Premium)

  • Aero Glass & advanced windows navigation
  • Easy networking & sharing across all your PCs & devices
  • Improved media format support, enhancements to Windows Media Center and media streaming, including Play To
  • Multi-touch and improved handwriting recognition

Windows 7 Professional (Business)

  • Ability to join a managed network with Domain Join
  • Protect data with advanced network backup and Encrypting File System
  • Print to the right printer at home or work with Location Aware Printing
  • Windows XP Compatibility Mode

Windows 7 Enterprise and Ultimate

  • BitLocker data protection on internal and external drives
  • DirectAccess provides seamless connectivity to your corporate network.
    (requires Windows Server 2008 R2)
  • Decrease time branch office workers wait to open file across the network with BranchCache. (requires Windows Server 2008 R2)
  • Prevent unauthorized software from running with AppLocker
  • Windows XP Compatibility Mode

Ultimate includes all Enterprise and all Home Premium features, including multi-language packs. Windows 7 Enterprise is available only through Microsoft Volume Licensing

According to a survey by Windows 7 News 46% of their readers say their choice will be Windows Ultimate.  25% want Windows Home Premium and 16% say Windows 7 Professional.

Hopefully, the high price leaks were done on purpose to lessen the blow when introductory prices are officially announced. There’s the optimist in me coming out again!



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Blogger Reb Mordechai Reviews said...

I am outraged by this news. I thought that Microsoft had been listening to us. Seven versions of VISTA was a marketing desaster. Now they are making the same mistake. There should be a maximum of two versions. Home and Enterprise. Both should have all Windows 7 media features with nothing dumbed down. The Enterrpise version should have more advanced networking features and that's all. Keep it simple! The Home version should be no more than $150 US and the Enterprise version should be sold according to number of licenses an organisation needs. Mark my words, if they go through with their plans to sell these useless dumb down Basic and Starter versions and also this business version with the media features removed then Windows 7 will go the same way Vista. The market will not accept a $300 price tag.

5:15 AM  
Blogger Reb Mordechai Reviews said...

Just to explain the reason why users like me will not install Windows 7. Why should we buy a dumbed down version of Windows 7 at $200 when Windows XP, with third party freeware gives us more? Our only motivation to upgrade to Windows 7 will be to get the better features. But at $320, forget it mate!

5:38 AM  
Anonymous Mogelijk said...

Unfortunately, XP is not a real option anymore since Microsoft has discontinued support for it. If Microsoft keeps to this pricing structure, it may be time for me to switch completely over to Linux.

BTW, any clues yet as to what the upgrade price for Win7 will be?

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found a solution around the price of MS OS. I just turned my other computer to a linux box. Somewhat of a learning curve for me but every time I use it I like it more and more. And it feels good to stick it to money bags. He is the one that directed me to something other than his OS.

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't mind spending money on an OS. I don't think the 'free' model that Linux works under will work in the long term.

$300+ however is rather ridiculous. It is JUST an OS and it only needs to do a certain number of things mandatory for an OS to do. Somehow Microsoft can't get that through their skulls.

Microsoft has always had problems innovating (think COM and its pathetic performance).

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Barry Berlin said...

I have 2 computers with Vista Home Basic, one is the 32 bit and the other the 64 bit version. I have tried Windows 7. None of these systems is as good as Windows XP. I see no reason to switch from Vista to Windows 7 unless future hardware and/or software necessitated it. This is unlikely as Vista and Windows 7 are compatible. It seems to me that a person would be an idiot to pay for Windows 7. If it is bundled with new computers as Vista was, then there will gradually be a user base but Vista should last as long as Windows 7. Boycott greedy Microsoft and use open source software whenever possible. Save your money for more important things than another silly operating system.

12:24 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Seems they will follow in Vista's footsteps as far as pricing goes and that's a shame. Vista was way overpriced in my opinion with the exception of the OEM versions. That is what the retail should have cost and the OEM's less. As far as how many versions there should be I say no more than 4 at most;Starter, Home, Pro or Business, and Ultimate. Really Ultimate was crap in Vista and not worth the almost $400 for what you ended up getting. So really only 3 versions are needed, with Starter mainly for netbooks.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous foozlesprite said...

I've been using W7 beta, then RC1, on my laptop and gaming computer. I love it, and I'm excited to get it...I thought, maybe this will be the first time I don't mind buying an OS! But realistically, between only having a part-time job, and the other people in my house getting laid off so often due to the economy, I probably won't be able to buy it unless it's cheaper than Vista. Pricing W7 so high, especially during a recession, invites two things: apathy and piracy. I have no doubt we'll see both if the price is steep.

3:13 PM  
Blogger ShaiLash said...

I'm using Vista ultimate SP1 and it has so many problems even Microsoft support's solution after 2 days on the phone and taking remote control over my computer was "reinstall a clean vista and reinstall everything from scratch". I told them then, I'll wait for Windows 7 hoping it'll have the ability Windows 98 had, to upgrade from 95 and "adopt" everything and work with it.
Now that Windows 7 is coming up, I see no such thing there that will prevent me from "resetting life" if I go with Windows 7. Seeing this gloomy price forecast I think in terms of: cheat me once - shame on you. Cheat me twice - shame on ME. If upgrading from Ultimate to Ultimate will cost more than $100 U.S. dollars (I pay in Israeli shekels), I will just wait for Apple to get to i7 processors with tripple channel DDR3 RAM and pay a lot of money to be able to not have anything to do with Windows any more. As we say here: This will be the straw that will break the camel's neck. I hope they'll come to their senses and with the price of upgrading from Vista to 7 will compensate those who fell for Vista trusting Microsoft to improve Windows XP, and not try to throw all the burden of the "flop" on our shoulders. If they do, in my opinion this will cause the beginning of the end of having the users' trust and gradually making Microsoft "just another corporation" like IBM's attitude to personal computers users did to IBM. If we don't teach them, they don't have who to learn from (my humble opinion).

9:14 AM  
Blogger vorlon7 said...

dont forget the costs of upgrading hardware I didnt go to vista because I could not see enough over xp pro to replace things like raid controlers (not generic ones I might add but industry standard)and other hardware and how glad I am.As for support I work for a local authority who are just switching to xp from 2000 with support not that ms support is a need.I also use Linux but it is not the Holy Grail. Pricing is usually too high at first with revisions after the must haves or is it the testers? have dived in but a networked version and a stand alone version would be simpler. I hoped that Vista was of the same interim OS as ME replaced by a leaner better system. I remember being asked to replace Me by W98 as much as Vista By XPPRO Plus ca change.....

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just another factor that is pushing me into a Mac!!

2:15 PM  
Blogger BigPaul said...

toses14 years ago I needed a Computer. I went to buy one, $2,500 for the computer, $2,500 for the software to make it do what I wanted. $200 worth of books later and six months time I spent $1,200.00 TOTAL and was on-line. I have fought Windows every day since. I have also built more than 300 computers for other people who had very specific needs from their computers, including more than 80 recently that wanted Vista/XP Dual boot or dual hardrive. If '7' goes any higher, I'll take the money I have saved for a Huge New Computer and buy a MAC. And all those people I built for in the past will be out of luck.

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems like I'm not alone In searching for a new platform. I have been a MS customer since DOS 3-3. I have become increasingly disappointed with MS products, policies and customer relations.

I currently hold multiple full licenses of several MS Operating systems. I recently considered moving to one of their server packages for home use. Then I noticed how far Linux has progressed.

Opensolaris, Open Suse, Ubuntu, etc. I'm running Linux right now (on a 5 year old box!) and it's doing fantastic. I'm also very impressed with firefox and disappointed with IE6,IE7 and IE8.
For me, What a disappointment MS is becoming...

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought a corporate copy of MC XP and all of a sudden MC says it doesn't pass genuine windows validation test. I have updated it several times and no problems. Is this Microsoft's attempt to force out XP users for Windows 7. Mac and Linux are beginning to look pretty good. Windows 7's price is insane. Hasn't MC heard of the recession.

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's too expensive for me too. Microsoft is losing it's appeal as a company providing it's customer's with a valuable service and gaining the attitude and status of a taxman.
I'll stick with XP for as long as I can whilst gradually moving to Linux.

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems that greedy Microsoft exec's just won't quit.

I have already switched to Linux a few months ago. Sure, it's not fully compatible with everything I need (YET), but I will dual boot with XP until the OS catches up in about a year.

FYI: did you know that the 'big box' computer retailers only pay about $30 for each license?
And the home enthusiast has to spend almost 10 times that amount?

Microsoft doesn't care about people. They act just like the Florida politician that said "...die quickly". And that's what Microsoft wants us all to do. Buy their stuff and die quickly (the OS that is) so they can usher in a new and improved version of Windows at another unreasonably inflated price.

Switch to Linux ASAP. Most are free!
And if you insist on spending money, help the developers by making a donation so it will remain free.

8:13 PM  
Blogger Hunter52 said...

XP? Tried it and went back to Win2000 Pro, the last greatest OS from MS. I only use XP for MagicJack and a couple other programs that won't work with 2000. I also have a new laptop that has Vista. I may convert back to XP with that one since it has enough memory for it. Otherwise XP was the slowest and worse memory hog until Vista came out.
Now another dissapointment with Window 7? Sorry, I will never turn to a Mac.. Good machine but the biggest rip off ever. I really don't feel like buying an over expensive computer every year when I can build and upgrade my own pc's.
Linux might just be the answer to all our problems.

7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First let me confess that I am not a supergeek. I am little more than a novice. I bought a new computer when MS released Vista. Little did I know that The Amazing 1 gig of memory, the most I ever had, would not be sufficient. After I found out about the fact that Vista used over 700 mgs I was in trouble. I had to upgrade the memory of a brand new HP a1700n. I did to 4 gig working. Thinking about all the comments I was thinking back to my old compaq. About the time that MS started pushing Vista I started having problems (little ones)Coincidence ? I Wonder. I have have started to have to clean up this one more often and do more frequent scans and dump more spybots and tracking cookies. Could our famous gates be starting these problems? HMMMMMMM

11:25 AM  

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